Examining the relationship between the unique work experiences and cultural orientations of police officers

Logan J. Somers, William Terrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study builds upon limited prior research that has assessed the relationship between elements of police culture and a host of unique officer work experiences (e.g. tenure, assigned shift and area, the number of shifts and areas worked, supervisory experience, specialized unit assignment). The sample consists of survey data from over 700 officers from a large police department in the western United States. The results demonstrated that while officers’ assigned shift and area had little effect, a number of other experiences were influential. Officers who had worked a greater number of shifts in their career were more likely to view policing as dangerous; and patrol officers were more likely to view management negatively. Further, specialized unit officers were less likely to view citizens negatively and less oriented toward order-maintenance or community policing than their patrol counterparts. Importantly, experience as measured simply by the number of years on the job, as opposed to other unique work experiences, showed that more senior officers were less likely to view citizens negatively and believe crime fighting should be a top priority, but more likely to view top management through a negative lens. We conclude by reviewing several implications and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCriminal Justice Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • officer experience
  • Police culture
  • tenure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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